Because my glucose screening test for gestational diabetes last week came back on the high side, I had to go in for a glucose tolerance test this morning.
The summary of what happens during a glucose tolerance test:
An oral glucose tolerance test measures the body's ability to use glucose, a type of sugar found in fruits and many other foods. (Glucose is the main source of energy used by the body.) After not eating all night, the person being tested drinks a special sugar solution on the morning of the test. A blood sugar sample is taken from a vein in the person's arm once each hour for several hours to see how much the blood sugar increases and then decreases over time. The test is done in a doctor's office or lab. The oral glucose tolerance test can be used to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes. It is used to diagnose gestational diabetes, which may develop during pregnancy.Having blood drawn doesn't scare me much, but of course the part of this test that is the real drag is not being able to eat all morning. Also, you're not supposed to drink water after drinking the sugar drink. I can get a headache if I don't eat/drink regularly so I was a bit worried about this happening, but I was OK. The sugar drink wasn't quite as gross as the internet made it sound, either; it tasted like flat Orange Crush. Not delicious, but tolerable. I'm hoping the GTT comes back all-clear, because I really want minimal pregnancy related-issues, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, I guess.
I also made sure I had a book with me as I had to sit in the lab for 2 hours in between the 3 blood draws. I've read and re-read all my favourite books, and 6 months of Scientific American back issues, so I had to find something else. I decided I would buy a parenting book. The only parenting/pregnancy books I've read are the two free ones provided by government health services (see here and here). I have no good reason for this lack of study, just....avoidance. As in, am I actually in a position where I need to read one of those?
Well. My way of shopping for a book was to get onto the Kobo bookstore on my e-reader, select the "Infants and Toddlers" category, or alternately, "Parenting/Child Care" and proceed to scroll through the list of hundreds of books without any clear idea of what I was looking for. This is when I hope there actually is an algorithm that can read my mind (even when I don't know it myself). I didn't see any evidence that there is, however.
Scrolling through dozens of titles (I didn't get through all of them by any means) allowed me to draw some general conclusions about parenting book selection. First, there are an awful lot of books about how to get babies to sleep. There are also a lot of books about discipline and dealing with defiant children. There is a smaller subset on dealing with anxious children. Maybe I was just paying a bit more attention to those, because I wonder sometime if my anxiety is going to make my child anxious. (When the thought occurs to me I pat my belly and assure Ember that at the very worst mommy will save up lots of money for counselling bills.)
Similar to those topics, there were many many books dealing with specific parenting skills or "issues" - e.g. potty training, learning, how to keep your child "calm," etc. As I scrolled through them I realized that that is not the kind of parenting book I wanted to read, at least not right now. Obviously, Ember is still safely stowed inside so I don't know what kind of "issues" she might have. In addition, I'm rather resistant to books that propose a method or series of steps that is supposed to solve all your hairy troublesome problems, like BAM! There are, of course A TON of books like that marketed to teachers. Books with titles like "5 Easy Steps to Perfect Classroom Management" (I made that up). I find that kind of narrow focus on a specific issue deadening/anxiety inducing. I prefer a big-picture approach. For example, when it comes to challenging/aggressive behaviour, I am a proponent of the Therapeutic Crisis Intervention approach because it teaches a way of thinking about the situation/person, rather than a "if this happens do this" instruction manual.
So, I wanted a book with a big scope. I also wanted something positive. Not a book along the theme of "Why your child is going to grow up into a spoiled entitled BRAT." Anyway, I decided on
The Art of Conscious Parenting: the Natural Way to Give Birth, Bond with, and Raise Healthy Children, by Jeffrey L. Fine and Dalit Fine.
I'm about 3 chapters into this book. It has answered my needs by proposing a way of thinking about parenting rather than "solutions" to parenting "problems." There is a huge emphasis on how the actions and even the thoughts of the parents influence child development, from the moment of conception, nay, up to 60 days before conception. Some of the studies cited state conclusions that sound a bit wild to me, but there are some I'd really like to believe, for example that mothers who have lots of nightmares during pregnancy have shorter, easier and happier births: because the nightmares are a way of subconsciously dealing with anxieties. Yah for nightmares!
As I was reading this book I realized that probably another reason I chose it is that I want a book that will argue with my anxieties and fears: specifically my fears about my body not being able to sustain a healthy pregnancy and birth and my mind collapsing under the pressure of it all. The Fines insist that women know how to give birth and nurture and busybodies can just get out of the way. Whether or not I decide to become a "follower" of their philosophy, that is a message that I need to hear right now.
Does anyone have a pregnancy/parenting/childbirth book that they recommend? How did/do you approach the question of what kind of a parent you should be? Opinions or insights?